Page 82 - Tata-Trusts-Annual-Report-2021-22
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TIGS has been a key player in leading SARS-CoV-2 viral     biomarkers at the local level. TIGS is also involved in viral
                               surveillance of wastewater. The institute is currently   genomic sequencing that helps in detecting regionally
                               working on expanding its surveillance platforms to       prevalent SARS-CoV-2 variants. Data regarding the viral
                               encompass other pathogens and develop strategies to      load trends is updated in real time on a  customised
                               reverse the threat of antibiotic resistance.             SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance dashboard.

                             ii. Rare  Genetic  Disorders:  The  Rare  Genetic  Disorders   • Setting up a Pathogen Surveillance Network
                               programme focusses on genetic diseases that a ect         TIGS has  also liaised  with  BBMP to  integrate
                               a  small  percentage  of  the  population  and  do  not  wastewater-based epidemiology in the healthcare
                               have su cient therapeutic or management options.         framework. This is crucial for setting up systems for
                               E orts are directed towards developing accessible        monitoring other infectious pathogens and preventing
                               diagnostic assays that can be applicable to screening    their spread in the city. As part of the Bangalore Life
                               carriers of genetic disease traits and cost-e ective     Sciences Cluster (BLiSC), TIGS is now collaborating with
                               therapeutic strategies.                                  a multi-city,  multi-institute consortium funded by  the
                                                                                        Rockefeller Foundation to monitor disease spread. Using
                             iii. Crop Improvement: The Crop Improvement programme      environmental samples and clinical infection data
                               at TIGS is aimed at developing food crop varieties that   gathered from various partners, TIGS aims to track
                               are more  resilient  to  diseases  and pests  and  are   pathogen prevalence and diversity at multiple locations.
                               nutrient-rich and drought tolerant.

                                                                                       • Forging Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships for Rare
                                                                                        Genetic Disorders
                             KEY ACHIEVEMENTS                                            Rare genetic disorders are not so rare in India, owing to
                                                                                        the large population of the country. There is an urgent
                             • Wastewater Surveillance for SARS-COV-2                   need for the a ected population to be able to access
                               TIGS is a key partner of the Brihat Bengaluru Mahanagara   cost e ective diagnostics and treatment, which are
                               Palike (BBMP) for wastewater surveillance carried out    presently una ordable due to very high import costs.
                                           at 28 sewage treatment plants under the
                                                                                        TIGS has been involved in an in-depth multi-stakeholder
                                                 Bangalore  Water    Supply  and
                                                                                        engagement during the past year to understand the
                                                     Sewage Board (BWSSB) in
                                                                                        various  challenges and  bottlenecks  present in making
                                                       Bengaluru.  The wastewater
                                                                                        cost e ective diagnostics and a ordable treatments
                                                       infrastructure of Bengaluru
                                                                                        available to patients. Five collaborative partnerships
                                                       o ers an e ective resource
                                                                                        were initiated with hospitals, patient groups, and
                                                       to access and estimate the
                                                       spread of the SARS-CoV-2         research institutes to bolster e orts focussed on the
                                                         across the city. Scientists at   development of low-cost point of care diagnostics and
                                                         TIGS have been involved in     indigenised therapeutic options for patients on a
                                                       screening for the presence of    fast-track pathway.
                               SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater and for early indication of
                               infection trends. Further, it has also helped in the creation of
                               spatial and temporal heat maps on the distribution of viral

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